Congress established the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on May 4, 1980, in the Department of Education Organization Act (Public Law 96-88 of October 1979). Under this law, ED's mission is to:
Strengthen the Federal commitment to assuring access to equal educational opportunity for every individual;
Supplement and complement the efforts of states, the local school systems and other instrumentalities of the states, the private sector, public and private nonprofit educational research institutions, community-based organizations, parents, and students to improve the quality of education;
Encourage the increased involvement of the public, parents, and students in Federal education programs;
Promote improvements in the quality and usefulness of education through Federally supported research, evaluation, and sharing of information;
Improve the coordination of Federal education programs;
Improve the management of Federal education activities; and
Increase the accountability of Federal education programs to the President, the Congress, and the public.